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The toy market plunged by 5.2% in 2023, the economic context and the drop in the birth rate singled out

No more laughing for the toy market, which saw a drop of 5.

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The toy market plunged by 5.2% in 2023, the economic context and the drop in the birth rate singled out

No more laughing for the toy market, which saw a drop of 5.2% in 2023 and 2% over the Christmas period, suffering from the economic context but also from the drop in the birth rate, according to data published this Thursday by the Circana firm. The sector's turnover totaled 4.3 billion euros last year, down 5.2% in value and 8% in volume. The trend improved slightly at Christmas (-2%) thanks to “the December rush,” Frédérique Tutt, toy market analyst for Circana (ex-NPD), detailed during a press briefing. In 2022, the market showed a decline of 2.6%, after record growth of 3.3% in 2021.

To explain the downward trend for 2023, Frédérique Tutt highlights “the difficult economic context”, consumers having for example “purchased less on impulse what we call “cry dryers”, toys for less than ten euros” , just like the unpredictable weather which has reduced sales of outdoor items, or the rise of second-hand goods. “The decline in the birth rate also has a huge impact on the market. We calculated that in the 0-11 age bracket, we lost 60 million euros in 2023 versus 2022, because we have fewer children,” underlines the expert.

Also read: From Fortnite to master paintings, the secrets of Lego’s insolent supremacy on the toy market

This decline in the birth rate “is one of the most important concerns in our sector,” added Florent Leroux, president of the Federation of Toy and Childcare Industries. The federation is thus demanding from the government the establishment of “a reduced rate VAT on compulsory safety items for babies (car seats or carrycots), and the early release of employee savings plans from the first child and not not to the third child as is currently the case. “The decline in the birth rate is something that we are suffering and on which we cannot act,” lamented Philippe Gueydon, co-president of the Federation of Traders Specializing in Toys and Children's Products.

Under the heading of “good news that has driven the market”, Frédérique Tutt lists products derived from licenses, Pokémon in the lead, “which represent a quarter of toy turnover”, interactive companions such as Furby or Bitzee, or card games again. In terms of distribution channels, hypermarkets and supermarkets particularly suffered in 2023 (-10%), while brands specializing in toys fell “only by 2%” and players present only on the internet showed a drop of 5%. , according to Circana.

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